The concept of a collapsible container
The concept of a collapsible shipping container now makes particular sense because a large proportion of the containers being shipped into exporting countries each year are empty - 26% of all containers shipped globally each year originate from China for instance, so most of them are returned empty at only slightly less transporting cost than their original journey when full.
Similarly, every full container, whether it has been transported by road, train or boat needs to be returned empty at several points in its eventual round-trip and it is this particular aspect of the Cargoshell which offers the greatest benefits. The Cargoshell has the unique ability to collapse inside 30 seconds to one quarter its original size, meaning four empty Cargoshells can be transported together in the space normally required for one empty current container.
The logistical advantages of this capability are obvious, both in transporting and storing the containers which clutter the world’s docks and freight yards when empty, and the Cargoshell design is equally as applicable for 40 ft and 45 ft containers as for the 20 ft containers it is currently being demonstrated with.
The global savings offered by a collapsible container are difficult to calculate, but they are unquestionably huge. Cargoshell has done the sums based on the known patterns of traffic in its home Port of Rotterdam, and if all current steel containers were replaced by foldable Cargoshells, it would result in a reduction of 10,000 trips annually.